South Korea, 2016. In a museum room, a man with white hair and beard remains silent and motionless while a dozen journalists surround him and photograph him non-stop.
His name is Kim Tschang-Yeul, the most renowned Korean artist of his generation. Kim has built a singular body of work around the representation of a unique and fascinating motif: a drop of water.
This obsession hides a mysterious origin rooted in the history of his country. It is the paradox of a character with an unusual fate, born in North Korea, fleeing the trauma of war and going into exile in South Korea, the United States, and finally France.
Kim's son directs and guides the documentary to try to better understand his father. What does the image of a drop of water conceal? The film delves into deep questions about family relationships and the confines of communication with those closest to us. Can we understand their dreams, their ambitions and their traumas?
Kim Tschang-Yeu died on January 5th, 2021 at the age of 91.
The Man Who Paints Water Drops discovers non-verbal ways of expressing and understanding Kim's obsession with painting water drops and its origin, rooted in Korea's history.— Angie Driscoll · Hot Docs
This collaboration between an inscrutable artist and his filmmaker son speaks volumes, despite documenting a man of very few words, whose practice embraces meditative silence.— The Movie Data Base